Wednesday, April 6, 2016

by 7 am Friday








Write a response that addresses the following:

~~The videos themselves
~~Connections to the sense perception chapter
~~Connection to other IB class content
~Personal Experience



Posts should be
Anon~1st Name Only~Mind your character limit

67 comments:

  1. Aakilah
    Part 1
    This video discusses the story of how a man was wrongly convicted of a crime based on eyewitness testimony. What happened in the video shows how unreliable eyewitness testimony can be because of sense perception. Ronald Cotton was wrongly convicted because of Jennifer Thompson’s in her eyewitness testimony. She was shocked because she believed that she knew who her attacker was researchers say that this can be a common mistake because of how our memories work. In the video there was a study done where participants viewed a video of someone committing a crime. After the video the researchers asked the participants to identify the person who committed the crime in a line-up. Many people said that it was hard to see what actually happened in the video. But the people were told that they identified the right person felt much more confident in what they saw after being reassured. This reminded of something that I do a lot. After turning in work I often ask my classmates if they got the same answers to questions that I didn't understand. If their answers were similar to mine it made me feel much more confident in my answers even though I knew I did them wrong. Their reassurance and reinforcement made me not even remember not knowing how to do the problem because instead it made be believe that if we got similar answers then we must be correct. According to the video this is because reinforcement alters memory causing us to not focus on our memories but instead on the reassurance because it makes us feel better about our decisions.

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  2. Aakilah
    Part 2
    The video also made me consider of how we can trust our memory because it isn't as reliable as we think of it to be. Many people believe that memory acts as a videotape and we “record” what happens in our minds so that when we are asked to remember something we can just replay it. But this isn't actually how memory works, memory is easily containmanatable and can be easily influenced by something such as our emotions. In history we sometimes discuss why interviews taken well after an event isn't always a source that can be trusted. When we studied World War II we watched videos where soldiers who were involved in the war were interviewed. However the interviews were done many years after the war so the men may not remember the war as how it actually happened. They have also probably developed strong emotions associated with the war or have heard many opinions on the war that could influence what they remember. These men who fought in World War II memories could be altered with time causing their memory to be unreliable. Criminologist have been focusing at eyewitness testimonies when looking at why people were incorrectly convicted. In many cases where someone was exonerated an eyewitness testimony helped to convict them. However eyewitness testimonies are still used and effective at getting a conviction because people trust what they see. Gary Wells a psychology professor who studies eyewitness testimonies discussed some of the issues with eyewitness testimony. Often times when someone looks at a lineup they often choose someone even if their attacker wasn't there. People also take time to choose someone from the lineup even though we recognize things in seconds. When you take longer to study the photos you end up using more of your brain than they processes associated with recognizing something. In one of our readings it explained how people associate emotions with things that they recognize. Once Thompson choose an attacker she stuck with him and struggled with the idea that he wasn't her attacker even when it was proven that he didn't attack her. This reminded of sometimes when I try to remember something I remember the emotions that I felt during the experience which affects what the memory will be. If you associate something with negativity or your culture views something as negative then this could cause your memory of it to also be negative even if that wasn't how it happened. According to the video eyewitness testimonies are still important in convicting criminals but there should be improvements in how they are obtained. This video showed the unreliability of eyewitness testimonies because of memory and how the human mind associates other things with it.

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    1. Mariatu
      Everything that needed to be included in this blog post was present. I saw evidence that you actually went back and recalled detail from the eyewitness here, connection to the sense perception chapter, connection to another IB class, and your own personal experience. You have a lot of good insights here also.

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  3. Priscilla
    As I was watching the video at the beginning, I sort of figured out what it was about; someone being wrongfully accused because the eye witness was not able to accurately identify the suspect. What I did not expect was how the victim was not able to identify him. I was so sure that if something like this was to happen to me, I would definitely remember the person’s face but then it happens that her attacker’s face was even in the photo and physical line ups. How was she to know that the person who did this to her wasn’t in the line ups? As mentioned in the sense perception chapter, the memory does not have an instant replay system where it can show exactly what happen. The memory has holes and the brain chooses what is supposedly “right” or “wrong”. That is why she picked Ronald because he was the only person in the photo lineup who had almost the exact physical traits as Bobby. Another thing that shocked me was that she still did not realize that Bobby was her attacker not Ronald when they were both seated in the court room. I actually thought that since Bobby and Ronald looked so much alike she would have a reaction and start to doubt her decision but after I looked and participated in the experiment by the Professor of Psychology and Law, I realized how tricky our mind can be. Jennifer was so sure that her decision was right because she kept identifying Ronald as her attacker so she did not even give a second thought that Bobby could have been her attacker. After reading the sense perception chapter and watching this video, I’m actually remembering instances where I think I saw something but it was not really there or something entirely different happened. An example is choosing something as simple as a pair of shoes, this morning I picked up my converse instead of my running shoes because they both had the same colour, in my mind I picked my running shoes because I saw it there but I was wrong. Another example of our mind playing tricks on us was when we looked at the different optical illusions class on Wednesday especially the sigma motion where it actually seems like our hands are slowing it down. This reminds me of a biology paper I read, it states that perception is the only way our brain interprets or comprehends sensations, the sensations and perception complement each other to create meanings from our experiences. The stigma motions are going to fast so in our minds we want it to slow down, with our fingers over it the mind shows us what we want to see. That’s exactly what happened in the court room with Jennifer, her mind showed her exactly what she wanted to see. The disadvantage of memory, it is easily influenced by emotions and at that time Jennifer was angry at Ronald thinking he was her attacker so she was more focused on him than Bobby. If we cannot really depend on eye witnesses to help in arresting criminals in situations where one would will be unforgettable, how can we sure anything we see is how it seems.

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    1. Sabeena
      I feel as though you need to elaborate on big ideas and synthesize the materials we studied from the Sense Perception chapter to form a stronger connection to the video. In addition, there needs to be an in-class connection aside from TOK. Your personal connections should also be elaborated to where there is a clear understanding of how your personal experience ties in to what we learned in the chapter and saw in the video. how do you think our minds play tricks on us? A knowledge question should also be included at the end.

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  4. Mariatu
    It's really scary how someone who was in engaged in such a serious activity as rape couldn't exactly get the suspect correct. Jennifer was basically tricked in her mind when picking the rapist. Studies have shown that looking at suspects one by one is more sufficient than looking at a group of suspects because when looking at a group of suspects you are certain that it has to be one of them. When the actual suspect isn’t there, witnesses tend to pick the one that looks most like them as she did. It isn’t always the case that one of the suspects is actually present. While watching the 60 second eyewitness, it reminded me of our sense perception chapter. In the chapter, they talk about how you have a "memory file" in your mind that replays situations when asked about something. It's so weird how Jennifer couldn't pin point exactly who raped her when going back to her "memory file". The host performed a memory experiment which caused her to choose the wrong face just how Jennifer did. “Memory is malleable, full of holes’, she said. Another idea that correlated with the chapter is the saying that “you only see to which you attend”. Meaning you only see what’s visible in your scope. When Jennifer was in the court room, her actual rapist was sitting in front of her because she didn’t even have the idea that she made a mistake. She went along with who she picked because the decision had already been made and she was pretty sure that Cotton was the one who raped her. This is an example of inattentional blindess. This shows how your memory isn't always accurate. In IB History, we are always asked to recall information. Some of the names/faces in history are similar to others so it’s very easy to trip up and make a mistake. For some reason I always get the top leaders confused. On tests I’m not always sure how to distinguish who but I go with whoever resembles them the most. This situation just makes me think about how your limitations in memory can cause you to make the biggest mistakes in life for example what Jennifer did – making someone go to jail for something they actually didn’t do. When I was in mock trial, I was a witness. I was asked to recall certain documents but I recalled the wrong one just because it looked like the others. They had similar writing styles and words so I just figured that it was it but I was wrong. Memory doesn’t always serve a right.

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    1. Aakilah
      Your post had most of the content expectations.You did include some personal experiences and used examples from the book and other classes but you could use more. I also saw that you connected any experiences back to something that was in the video. Still in your post there was only one key idea from the video discussed with more discussion of the video you could connect it to yourself more. I also felt that there was more areas of memory that were in the video but you didn't discuss them in your blog post. But the post was clear and your ideas flowed well so it was easy to read.

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  5. Sabeena Khan
    Sabeena Khan

    The videos discussed the limitations of perception by presenting an example of an eye witness testimony that falsely incarcerated an innocent man. In the case a woman was being raped so she studied the details of her attacker. When she was brought in the pick the victim. The detective found a group of possible suspects and set them side by side to for her to compare them with each other. Instead of trying to judge the faces according to memory Jennifer began to choose the face based on who looked mostly what she saw. She ended up picking someone from the group that was innocent and stuck with him when the real perpetrator wasn't even in the lineup of suspects. After hearing reinforcement that she kept choosing the same suspect and became more confident in her decision. A recent study I read about in NY Times claims to provide evidence of memory’s weakening by showing that people’s ability to remember something and the pattern of brain activity that thing generates both appear to diminish when a competing memory gets stronger. When Jennifer was given the reinforcement that her decision was consistent and that he was most likely the perpetrator.The features of the rapist that she remembered began to look more and more like Cotton. So when she was face to face with Bobby Pool she had not emotional connection to his appearance and could only visualize Cotton as being the rapist because her memory of him being the perpetrator became stronger. People think that visual perception is like a recording tape that can be labelled and played back. However our memory is more malleable than anything. It can be influenced and manipulated by a number of different factors which can make recalling a crime accurately difficult. Accounts can often be manipulated by emotion, social stresses and positions. For example, a couple of years ago my mom was in a car accident where she was hit by a vehicle who fled the scene. This was a traumatic moment for my mom so her memory was clouded and altered because of the stress she faced in the moment of the situation. When asked about the color of the car she didn’t have a clear memory because all she remembered was getting hit. After thinking a lot about it she said the color of the car was white. However, video surveillance of the street showed that the car was beige. What happened to Jennifer was kind of similar. She endured a very distressing and scarring event which could have altered what she saw. Visual perception is not reliable in this situation because when adrenaline is coursing through a person’s veins in a frightening event, certain senses are heightened. Because there is this heightened perception, there is actually a lack of mental resources available for memories to be committed.

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  6. Sabeena Khan
    Her only motive was to make sure that she receives justice and to capture her attacker. This is why she was determined to choose the right suspect from the images that were presented to her. However people are used to assuming that the guilty person is in the lineup unless they're specifically told that the guilty person is not in the lineup. The case was based upon Jennifer's account of saying the best match instead of looking for a genuinely satisfying match. Jennifer probably had a lot of stress put on her shoulders because the faith of these suspects lies in her hands and if she doesn't choose the right person then there is still a criminal on the loose that could be hurting others. This social stress made it so that Jennifer wanted to make sure that she picked the right person. She spent a while analyzing every face before she picked Cotton. However, this is a sign that her mental instant replay is limited. If she recalled exactly what she saw then her decision should have been instantaneous. Yet, Jennifer had to really think hard about which suspect was the perpetrator. This may be a sign of uncertainty. In addition, she was questioned and shown the suspects by a detective of the case who had a personal connection to the case. This meant that he only displayed the photos of a certain number of suspects and didn't inform her that it could be none of them. This is because his true motive is to simply solve the case so he only presented Jennifer with men who he thought probably did it. An example of a similar situation is from a story we read in french class Maigret et le Clochard. It was about a homeless man who was attacked under a bridge. The detective in charge of the case became so attached to the case that when he found a possible he stuck to it even when the victim denied the possibility of it being his attacker. However, he was so persistent that he continued to question the same suspect until the victim began to agree with him that he was the one. His attitude put a social stress on the homeless man to admit that he was the suspect and basically coerced him into saying that he was the perpetrator.

    To what extent do our senses give us knowledge about teh world as it really is?

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    1. I thought that there were a lot of repetition in your work and also the connection made about the story Maigret et Clochard should be elaborated on; not everyone knows the story. You should be more in depth with your explanations and connections.
      Priscilla.

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  7. As someone who has had a longtime interest in not only the justice system but practicing law in general, I agreed with a lot of points made in the video about eyewitness testimony. The video went in great detail about a rape case in North Carolina. A woman was raped in her apartment where she carefully studied her rapist so she could report him to the police. In the end a man Ronald Cotton was convicted and sentenced to life in prison. Jennifer Thompson, the accuser picked Cotton out of a photo array as well as a physical lineup. In the end it turns out that Cotton was not guilty thanks to DNA evidence and the wrong man was locked up for 11 years for a crime that he did not commit; the main reason being the testimony of the victim Ms. Thompson identifying Cotton as the assailant.

    The video discussed how the main issue with eyewitness testimony is memory. it elaborated on how memory is not like a tape recorder where you can continuously play it back like it happened the first time. Memory is malleable with many holes and easily influenced. This is a strong point that was discussed in depth in the perception chapter. In the sense perception chapter we discuss the vulnerability of memory because of its possible connect with emotions, stress and outside pressures. I agree with the points made in both the video and the chapter that yes eyewitness testimony is highly susceptible to alteration. however i feel as though the two sources miss the idea that the misconception of instant replay memory in human beings is most dangerous of them all. As people, we have this preconceived notion that everything we see is recorded and we are able to spit back the events untampered with. It is this very misconception that could in turn incline more people to testify. This misconception also causes false confidence in witnesses. They believe that because they saw it and because their brain “recorded ‘ it the information they are relaying to the world is unbiased or unaltered when it is evident that this is not the case.


    The entire video speaks volumes to how eyewitness accounts are unreliable because of their interconnection with emotion. Eyewitness accounts as already explained have issues because memory is not clear cut, memory does not just record what happened. Memory is greatly influenced by emotion; and these same emotions or feelings that affect our memory possibly could also affect our desire to want to know the truth. Ms.Thompson was a woman who knows that she was raped, this is something she is 100% sure of and can attest too. However the experience that she suffered through involved several other senses like sight, touch, hearing and smell to confirm her assertion. In the issue of identifying a man it is a little more difficult to validate what she saw because of issues with memory and emotion. At the same time emotion can create prejudicial assumptions, which also cloud the trustworthiness of eyewitnesses. In many cases people have prejudicial thoughts or feelings towards a group of people and want to believe when a crime is committed that it was that group that committed it. Of course I'm not suggesting that the accuser in this case is prejudice, but I think the idea of prejudicial thoughts should be entertained when discussing eyewitness testimony. To often than not people testify in court on assumptions accusing people they think or more compelling expect to commit the crime. It is human nature to have stereotypes and misconceptions about people, and we also know that some people are in denial and refuse to accept the truth despite what they might see. This idea is reinforced in the Invisible Man’s prologue in World Literature. The main character talks about how he is invisible because people refuse to acknowledge him, the refuse to see him for him and accept him.



    Jasmine (1 of 2)

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  8. This in some ways speaks to the way our society is today. People refuse to acknowledge that everyone is different and they're stereotypes or misconceptions they grew up with do not apply to every person within that group. A hypothetical example of this could be a white woman dropping her wallet on the ground and a black man walking towards her picking the wallet it up. At this moment in the hypothetical situation some bystanders that might have some stereotypes might assume that the man was trying to steal the wallet because he is black. It is fair to say that our sight perception is very interconnected with our brain and the knowledge, ideas, practices and values we hold in it. And at times it is very hard to separate the clouded version of what we see from the authentic version.

    Another reason eyewitness testimony at least in a court case can be unreliable aside from the physical and mental implications, is because of the pressure of the person's surroundings. From personal experience in Mock Trial as well as an internship I had with a practicing attorney I know that witnesses, especially eyewitnesses are coached with the leading attorney prior to trial. Witnesses work with the attorney for direct examination and are told what to emphasize on and what to leave out or not bring up during testimony. Witnesses rehearse what happened over and over again in practice to the point that on the day of the trial the witness seems almost scripted. This coaching is in a way altering the exact details of what happened. Even if a witness is not lying but simplifying not bringing up something there are still altering and now are unable of relying to the judge and jury the exact events in chronological order. Witnesses in many cases get very caught up in what they were told to say that under cross examination they crack and mess up their story. This shows that the surrounding pressure and emotional pressure leave no room for a 100% accurate account of what happened making them unreliable.

    Jasmine (2 of 2)

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    1. Remi
      ~I liked how you had big ideas mixed in with your thoughts on your video. For example, bringing up race and how it reflects your sense perception.
      ~You went into thorough details on your thought process.
      ~The way you structured your response was very organized and clear.
      ~It was engaging reading your post because I know this is your field with it having to deal with the law. Therefore, I liked seeing what your thoughts were on this. You brought a different light to things.
      ~There were a few grammatical errors.

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  9. Alexander Part 1

    When the Boston Marathon Bombing happened, parts of the internet came together and decided to go on a wild goose chase. The outcome, was putting the blame on the wrong person and causing the death of someone innocent. In this day and age, technology like cameras and phones allow us to see what happened. Yet, it is not perfect. The blurry images led to assumptions in the case of the bombers and of course, never leave the work of a detective to any person. In the TOK chapter about sense perception, police officers and detectives are overall trained to read facial expressions and this can lead to them deciding to pull out their gun, see if a person if lying or telling the truth, etc. A person’s face tells us so much about what to expect, and yet we seem to fail at interpretation. A police officer may look at a person’s face and think to force an arrest, and when the public looks at the video, different opinions arise. Yet, in the same chapter the importance of context was highlighted in sense perception. The officer knows what has happened, and they have their own expectations and emotions as well. These can lead to bias and underlying issues in America such as racism can lead to disastrous results. It is important to have sense perception, while it can fool us.

    In the video, the Jennifer Thompson sought to bring the man who raped her to justice. When DNA testing proved otherwise, Ronald Cotton was released spending 11 years in jail. How can injustice have been done to both? Cotton lost 11 years, and Thompson’s real rapist wasn’t charged with the crime until later on. Here we see ethical issues arise from the fault of sense perception. The justice system tries its best to provide an ‘innocent until proven guilty’ point of view. And yet, I believe that the main problem with this is the use of jurors, real human beings, with their sense perception on top of that? If sense perception failed Thompson, can’t it also fail the jurors? In the movie Bernie, based on a true story, where the main character was well known and loved by the town, and then murdered an old lady. When the DA, asked around, he found that most townsfolk would acquit him if given the chance. The DA proceeded to ask for jurors from another county and now Bernie serves jail time. Here the townsfolk’s expectations of both knowing Bernie as a tender guy and seeing as an outstanding member of the community caused them to fail to ‘see’ him as a murder. In biology we learned that Mendel’s plant experiments contained statistical controversy. Mendel believed that there would be a 3:1 ratio for genes, and a statiscian later found that the numbers he got were a little too perfect. The statiscian liked Mendel, but his questioning of proven knowledge caused us to rethink genetics as a simply 3:1 ratio. In science, sense perception errors can be due to the fact that most scientists would like their hypothesis proven, as shown with Mendel. In the TOK chapter we also learned about the law of parsimony, in which the answer is the one that best fits the data. With the data in Mendel’s experiment the 3:1 ratio meant a simple genetic ratio. Yet, years later we learn about co-dominant genes and dihybrid crosses which do not fit with the ratio, and even then, the more trials one does, the close a number becomes to an expected value.

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  10. Alexander Part 2

    In history we see ego get in the way of great men. General Mark Clark, decided to capture Rome, which had no strategic value, and allowed the Germans to escape. Ironically, capturing Rome did not make the headlines, which is probably what he wanted to happened. He got his comeuppance when D-Day happened the next day and that made the headlines. However, to his credit, how awesome would it be to be known as the man who captured Rome? Rome is historically seen as the capital of one of the greatest empires of all time, the Roman Empire. Yet, it was not the case. Rome captured would mean Italy was out of the war. A simple solution, to a complex problem. In the chapter, Gestalt showed us that humans try to find the easiest answer, or the one we expect to happen. We see not what we see, but what we want to see. Such is the case with poor Clark, the easiest and most lavish solution turned out in vain. In the Cotton case, the man that seemed most like the man she was looking for was chosen, and the fact that her wrong answer was ‘confirmed’ by it being the same man in the photo did not help. Yet, even I am guilty of this tactic, although on a much lower scale. In every math class I would come across I question I could not find the answer to. Therefore, I would circle the closest answer.

    Lastly, I believe that computers are the way to go with cases such as these. Yet aren’t computers made on the same expectations of sense and perception as us? Perhaps future development in A.I. technology could help us with the jury, because I feel as if the jury and its sense perception is attached to much to emotion. Sense Perception and Emotion just seem to intertwined. When the jury heard a person telling their story of rape, what she believed to be the truth, how could one not have sympathy and at least try to understand that the man that raped her is standing in court? Only with the technology of DNA testing could the jury be informed. I am absolutely horrible at telling faces and honestly both men seem exactly alike. When I was watching The Departed at times I would confuse the actors. The WOKs seem by themselves to deteriorate into flawed constructs, and only through other tools can we actually seem to know what we see, the same tools made by the original flawed sense perceptions.

    KQ: How are our sense perceptions in the (arts) be influenced through the existing knowledge in the field?



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    1. Overall great post but the writer tend to stray away from the point he is trying to make. Especially for the first paragraph I really liked his connection to the Boston Bombing and how different technological problems can alter our perceptions. He then begins to stray away from the point that he's supposed to make. Second part that I think he should have talked more about was the example of Mendel and his pea plants, he stated it without including a direct connection but according to him the reader "should have implied."

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  11. Jefferson
    In regards to the video on how the things we often see can be deceiving I feel like the video does a tremendous job in exemplifying that. The video started off by explaining the situation in the court case and the events that led to the verdicts. As the victim in the video said, during her encounter with the alleged suspect, she spent the entire time examining and studying his face so she could select him later during the lineup at the police lineup. As the video highlights in the latter stages, eye witness testimonies often times aren’t reliable especially due to the way the police screening system is structured. Often times the system hampers the victim’s decision to make the right choice because even though they claim to know who the suspect is and do pick someone from the list, the real suspect may not be on the line. The victim feels that they are obliged to choose from the list, it’s like someone given you the choice between the numbers 1 through 5 and asking you to pick one. You might feel like you have no other choice. As the section “the myth of the mental instant replay” under chapter 4 suggests, eye witness tests “are shockingly vulnerable to manipulation by emotion, social stresses and position,’ also as I mentioned before, the way the question is asked tend to have an influence. As the researcher states in the video, recognition memory is instantaneous and if the suspect was there she would have known from the start. These cases and our way of thinking reminds me of the procedures we go through during test sessions, she states how her selection at the police station was like taking a test, she narrowed down the choices. The wrongful procedures in the judiciary system was like in the stranger and the way Meursault was approached. Just like in the video, the judicial system itself was not right in the ethical sense, the video talks about how her choice was influenced by emotions just like the people in the court in Algiers were affected by Meursault’s way of life. From personal experiences and even from the exemplar given in the video, at times you may feel like you have the right person but later on you realize that you were wrong. Memorization and also the way they are instructed often influences their perceptions, from experience it looks like we tend to think we don’t have a choice when making a decision like. We compare the candidates to each other rather to our memory.

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  12. Bintou
    In the 60 Minutes video, “Eyewitness”, it talks about a rape crime and one eyewitness’ trouble identifying the suspect. In 1984, Jennifer Thompson was a victim of rape by a young black man. That man was Robert Poole, and Jennifer studied the man very carefully so as to identify him to the police when she is alive. The problem is that when it was time to identify by the police, Robert was not in the original lineup, and accidentally pointed to Ronald Cotton as the rapist. He was wrongly held in jail for 11 years until the real rapist was identified. This case shone some light on flaws in eyewitness testimony that led to these false convictions.
    In chapter 4, we learned about sense perception as well as how the mind can be influenced in perception unlike other ways to record events. In the video, the news reporter did an experiment similar to the one seen on page 46 in the book. Just like Jennifer she was shown a good view of a group of suspects, but along with composite sketches of what they were looking for. One of the photos was that suspect’s face on a different head, like having David Beckham’s face on an astronaut photo in the book. Both mentioned that it confused the subjects, in this case identifying the wrong face of the suspect for the news reporter. How does this connect to Jennifer’s case? Having a picture of someone that looks just like the real rapist made her confused as to picking him, which is an example of the mind’s attempt to create meaning from stimuli.
    This phenomenon in sense perception doesn’t happen only in testimonies; people every day can get confused with people being someone else. For example, my parents sometimes get my two little sisters confused, calling Kadidja Zaunabou and vice versa. It maybe because they have a similar appearance and height that they think of the each other. Another example is in magic tricks, where the mind is so caught up with the illusion that they don’t see what really happen in the trick. These are examples of how the mind can be easily tricked in sense perception, and is a reason why eyewitness testimonies are flawed.
    On language courses in the IB program, we can get foreign words confused easily with other words in the language, and even words in English too. For example in English the word actual has a slightly different meaning in Spanish meaning “current, present-day”. These and similar confusing words are called “false friends”. This confusion is made because our brain responded to a stimulus similar to the one for the English word.
    This video was an interesting exploration on sense perception and explains that our way of remembering knowledge is very different on other ways of recording ideas, in that they are easily influenced by emotions, social stresses, possession or the way a question is asked and other factors. How do we fix this problem with this testimony? As mentioned in the video, Jennifer is actively pushing a reform on the way the testimony is presented, with a better way to present the suspects. With this video, I am starting to notice why people get confused so easily when two or more things are similar.

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    1. Camiella,

      KQ??
      I was confused on language connection so if you could put the different meanings in English and spanish side by side that would be helpful. I think too much time was spent summarizing and not enough of your opinion into it.Tell us more about what you think on the case, how your view was changed. When doing sense perception connections I would suggest going more in depth with it because they connect and are logical so drive the point home.

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  13. Yared
    Memory is usually associated with one specific sense (one of the five) and that is our eyes. I use my eyes to look at the world around me and interpret my visions. This is the reason why I first thought it was the most important (sense), out of the five senses. Everyone in my class agrees with this, because we all thought that was the best way to record memory. I now know it is a lot more complicated because of the difficulty with remembering specific information. Eyewitnesses have to deal with the same problem because they are stretching their abilities to remember. As the sense perception chapter outlines, our memory isn’t like a camera, so it doesn’t record information, and play it back as needed. It instead has weaknesses that can be easily influenced from both internal and external pressure (I will explain with more detail later).This (eyewitness testimony) is the reason why over 170 innocent people (according to the video) wasted their valuable time in jail. These mistakes are not necessarily intentional because, as I mentioned before, our memory can be tricked easily.
    This brings me back to the main person in the video and that is Jennifer. Jennifer was a college student, when she was raped by a man she didn’t know. She paid attention to the person and kept track of his voice and other details. This is similar to an experiment I watched in Middle School. The idea of the experiment was to track the change of stories over-time. To get the results, the teacher selected a few students, and she allowed one to stay, but the others left the classroom. The teacher, then gave a long crime report (to the first student), with a number of facts and ideas. Just like Jennifer, the first student, was giving all of his attention to the information. The teacher then allowed a second student to enter the class and the first student retold the story. The student kept big ideas, but many details were missing. The sense perception chapter emphasized our limited ability to retain, and remember information. We don’t always get all aspect of an event because as the chapter puts it, our perception is “attention dependent.” This means both Jennifer and the students in the experiment, can only keep information they are paying attention to (which usually limited).
    After Jennifer’s description of the criminal, she was given a choice of possible suspects. The pictures were placed in order, and she selected a man named, Ronald Cotton. He wasn’t the criminal, but he was the one that fit her observation. As the video explained, people should be able to remember a person in a few second, but if they don’t, they are probably looking for a matching person. Jennifer took about five minute to choose the criminal because she was trying to find the best match. This is similar to the way I attack most of problems on a math assignment. If I solved the question correctly, I will find the answer among the given choices. If I can’t find exactly what I calculated, however, I will start to look for a choice that is closer to mine. This is the same situation Jennifer and other eyewitnesses because, if they can’t find their exact answer in the choices, they usually go after the closest possibility.
    The main reason Jennifer got confident with her choice is because of the conformation. The criminals in the picture were lined-up and Jennifer successfully selected Mr. Cotton, for the second time. This made her think she found the right person, but she was wrong again. This shows how conformation has the power to change our memory. Conformation also plays a major role towards the end of the video because DNA testing is conformation. DNA is more powerful than eyewitness, and looking at the results can change Jennifer’s view completely. At the beginning, she doubted her ability of making a mistake, and DNA results showed her that mistake.

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    1. Jody-Ann
      I noted that there were a few things that were missing from your post:
      1. there was no knowledge question
      2. elaborate on what you mean by "on of the five". What are the five sense? What about people who think that there are six senses?
      3. What were the internal and exteranal pressures?
      References to the video, your personal experiences and other classes are apparent.
      Some information looked to be lacking from your post.
      There were a few grammatical errors.

      Delete
  14. Many people believe that they can rely upon a person's memory because it is believed to be similar to a recording that we play back in our heads, but in fact our memories are very inaccurate. In the videos, the value of an eye witness testimony was put to the test. A woman who was raped had identified her rapist, but she identified him incorrectly, possibly because out of the pictures shown, he was the one who looked the most like what she remembered. Ronald Cotton was then charged and convicted. While he was incarcerated there was a man named Bobby Poole that looked very similar to him; even people in the prison confused the two of them. This man had been charged with rape of the rape and fit the description that Cotton was charged for. Therefore Ronald Cotton asked for another trial and he was found not guilty. The women was so sure about what she saw and she just knew that it was him and never once did she think that it was Bobby Poole. My older brother was once arrested for robbery, simply because they eyewitness said that he looked like the culprit, until he was placed in a line up with others that looked like him. In the video it was stated that if Ronald Cotton had been in a line up with Bobby Poole then he most likely would not have been identified as the rapists, and he would have gotten off, much like my brother. Elizabeth Loftus, the same psychologist from the video, has done other tests in order to determine whether our minds accurately remember details. As stated in my EE, Loftus conducted a case involving being shown an advertisement of Bugs Bunny at Disneyland. The first group of people read an ad about the theme park that made no mention of any characters. The second group read the same ad, but a cardboard cutout of Bugs Bunny was placed in the room. The third group read a fake Disneyland ad featuring Bugs Bunny. The fourth group was shown both the Bugs Bunny ad and the cardboard cutout. After reading through the ad, which featured a picture of Bugs Bunny just outside the Magic Kingdom, the participants were asked whether they had met Bugs while on a visit to the theme park, and whether they had shaken his hand. About a third of the participants who had read the phony ad featuring Bugs said they either remembered, or at least knew, they had indeed met Bugs at Disneyland and shaken his hand. I feel as though that people believe an eyewitness statement too easily, just because a person is confident in what they remember. According to the Chapter, Sense Perception, our memories can be manipulated by our emotions, social stress, and position and simply by the way a question is asked. If so many things can alter what and how we remember, how can we be so sure that what a person remembers is what truly happened? We cannot.

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    1. Jenifer

      - Annotations of the video itself is needed
      - There is a lot of description of the video of what we all saw. Elaborate on those parts. Explain more your ideas and how it made you feel.
      - What were you not aware of prior to watching the video and how has this video made you change your viewpoint on eyewitness testimony
      - Your opinion about it and provide examples from the video
      - Connect your interconnections with the video more clearly. Elaborate more/say why you though that and how it makes you see things the way you do
      - It's good that you added a question at the end but questions could be implemented within the reflection allowing you to try to answer them by yourself.

      Delete
  15. Camiella
    The mind is malleable and can therefore not be used as a mental recorder, said Lesley Stahli. There has been no truer statement in my eyes, a person’s recognition of visual perception can be altered by the smallest of stimuli. In the video Jennifer Thompson, a rape victim, wrongly accused a man named Ronald Cotton as her attacker under the claim of having seen the attacker. She even sat in front of her real attacker, but still looked at Mr.cotton. Over 75% of people accused by eye witnesses were wrongly accused. I believe that we see what we want to see and with every event we create some solution in order to make sense of it in our minds and when asked to recall, we may feel some sort of pressure to get it right so we form things in our imagination and mix it in with what’s real. In many of the accusations the officers claim that the perpetrators chosen were in some way similar to the real guys. We do not have a photographic memory, there is no way that we can recall every aspect of a person’s features, so we recall what we can and fill in the rest with features from our imagination, perhaps the features we replace are fragments of other people we’ve seen (or so I believe). I read in the first chapter of TOK, ‘Recognizing Perspectives’ that American culture is truth-seeking and always creating new technologies that would help subtract emotion and other aspects that influence perception in order to get the pure truth and or perception. DNA makes it possible to take away human influences.. In a sense this makes me believe more in artificial intelligence than in humans and the fact that we should not have eye witness victims. It doesn’t matter what angle of view the person gets because when later asked to recall that memory, some part of it would have been changed by the brain to connect in the mind.
    In chapter four sense perception, it is explained that the human mind cannot keep pure data, hence why mental replay is a myth we attach emotions, experiences, religion and other influences to it in order to give it enough meaning to stick in our minds; this alters our perception of what really happened. I believe that rather than using perception to attach meaning, we use it to validate what we saw, felt, tasted, or smelt because it is our nature to create meanings for events. With Ms. Thompson her vision had strong emotion attached to it and I believe that although the right man was not there in her anger to get revenge she chose the person who looked closest to the man and convinced herself it was right and when the investigator himself told her she chose the same man twice that provided her with the validation she needed to fully convince herself it was right. Even without him saying that I believe she would have found other means of validation even from herself. For example, when I am taking a test and two answers seem almost identical, I chose the first thing that comes in mind and based off the second question if it’s a follow-up I validate my answer or I find some way to convince myself it was the right answer using the context of the question. Sometimes I find that my whole interpretation of the text changes to fit my answer, my mind unintentionally makes corrections. This could be what happened to Ms. thompson when she saw the real attacker yet did not recognize him.

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  16. Camiella part 2
    From what I got in the videos at first the investigator of the crime usually gets the eyewitness testimony and since they are connected to the case they can somehow indicate who they believe is the suspect or what happened and that could subconsciously get into the mind of the victim,thereby changing her memory to fit that of the investigator’s theory. Last year in English we learned about the Scottsboro boys' case where several African American men were accused by a white woman of rape. The only thing different from this and the Thompson case is that the alleged victim did not make a genuine mistake she knew fairly that she was lying, the fault lay in the justice system. Because the men were black they were already stereotyped to be violent and no matter what would be guilty of any crime (they basically started off with no defence), and even without evidence of injury or semen on the woman, the jury convicted those boys. My theory of this was that due to the negative emotions and experiences that people in those days had tied to black people their mind somehow made everything that was and to them incriminate the boys. In the beginning I said ‘we see what we want to see’ but now I must add on ‘we believe what we want to believe’; we have free will. The jury wanted to believe the men were guilty since they were all southern males who did not favor people of color, as well as there was an ‘eyewitness’. In addition, I relate the way ‘eyewitness testimonies’ are talked about in this video as a science experiment. The person starts off with a hypothesis (in Thompson it was an idea of who it was), then they perform the experiment and come up with the results ( study the picture and choose her attacker), but even then the study is not finalized, it has to be repeated multiple times and when the same result is achieved then the experiment is successful (she chose the same guy again on the line-up). As a bonus other scientists perform the same experiment and give feedback on whether or not they got the same results, if they did it becomes a theory in the long run after multiple trials( this was the detective telling her she chose the same guy making her believe it was true).
    What I am trying to convey is that visual perception and memory is not objective, we are humans the first thing we want to do is relate that is why when people vote for someone they choose who they feel relates to them most. We relate with emotions, backgrounds, beliefs and other Areas of knowledge;basically we go by any means to attach meaning whether that causes us to manipulate the information or not. More than half of the time we do not know we do this. It is innate in us, I guess this is why cramming the night before a test doesn’t work; our brains are not given enough time to relate and identify the information hence why we don’t remember it even in the slightest.
    Nevertheless, I cannot believe that they are friends, I can understand forgiving her because we all make mistakes but becoming friends is sketchy to me. I wonder if they joined forces to profit by telling their story or they just wanted to help others and figured teaming up would maximize emotional and credible impact. I would personally not have become so close to her; I would have forgiven her but gone our separate ways. I feel as though the legal system should disregard eyewitness testimonies unless they can find a way to use a truth-seeking technology such as lie-detector, DNA etc.
    KQ: Is it possible for pure reason and pure perception exist in humans without truth-seeking technologies?

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    1. Bintou

      Good Job. I like your interconnections that you referred to and your opinions as well! You gave a lot of your personal insight to it.
      Quick Question: Do you think that we should have an eye-witnessed test?

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  17. Shania

    Initially watching the first video I already grasped the idea that someone was wrongfully convicted due to an eyewitness account. Both videos However , I was shocked to see that it was the accuser who had made a false conviction. To me an eyewitness is an outside source that witnessed the crime and can verify the accusers accusations. I also was shocked that it took so long for them to test DNA.I feel like court is just like IB math , in IB math studies we learn about chi-squared test , which is basically a way to prove a hypothesis and/or statement that is to be rejected or accepted through the results from mathematical calculations. In some ways court is the same way they study the case , which is presented by a hypothesis which presents probable cause to the court. Throughout the investigations and evidence are collected as the results and the interpretation of them are later presented in each lawyer's closing remarks. The Jury is the one who decides whether to reject the null or accept. In the sense perception chapter they talked about how memory can be influenced by emotions and in a traumatic moment such as being raped I can understand how once she picked a suspect she stuck with it because she attached all the feelings for her rapist to the one who closely resembled her blurred memory.The sense perception chapter also gives insight on how when perceiving something not having the meaning of it can unbalance your mental equilibrium.So in terms of the video when the victim mentally couldn't immediately place the rapists she searched for meaning unconsciously to the one who resembled him the most. In the second video where the eyewitness expert had come and tested the host of the program I , myself also messed up in identifying the presented suspected. Personally I know that my memory is not that good to remember someone's face and go in and identify them. Of course in the online presentation ,when the expert brought up a test scenario where someone was committing a crime there are a few things that got in my way. One is that I know realistically that I wouldn't have paid much attention to his face because , i wouldn't know that that was going to occur. Also I would probably be too shocked to remember all the details of his face. One factor i questioned was the way she contributed to the sketch , In IB Biology we learn that various of alleles can contribute to varying gametes. So in terms of those who are of Asian decent picking out the eyes would be easier ,but if it were another race then well , there are many eyes that are closely similar and yet different. In IB Biology we also learn about where we descend from and their affects on our genes, so any black male could resemble common traits that are passed along genetically. I understand the concept of memory and perception playing a role , however after thinking about it and making connections I believe that in this case it wasn't just memory that played tricks with the victim. It is the time in which the victim had to perceive her rapist , along with emotions playing a role in her memory that caused her to make an innocent man go to jail. I watch a lot of Law and Order : Special Victims Unit a lot , which deals with multiple scenarios of sex crimes , some solved and some not. What I grasped from this show is that every woman that was victimized was emotionally unstable in terms of the first few weeks. Some make accounts of their attackers that later change and some lie. This shows that emotions affect memory greatly and also that the approach is important. In the show approaching the suspect and asking them to identify the attacker is taken seriously , because its like asking the victim to relive the attack , which intensifies their emotions towards the event.

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    1. Aniyah

      You did a good job in showing how engaged and thoughtful you were to the topic in your writing, majority of your ideas were clear and fluent.
      However, you should work on the mechanics of your writing next time, I spotted too many grammar errors to ignore.
      Also next time about a more personal experience when relating to the topic the one you used was kind of detached, remember it's your experience.
      All your key ideas, insights, and responses came together neatly in the end.

      Delete
  18. While watching “Eyewitness Testimony” Part 1 and 2, I was able to see how eyewitnesses aren't always reliable in the justice system because of how our memory works. Jennifer Thompson was a victim in a robbery and rape crime. During the crime, she says she was able to study the eyes, nose, ears, and lips of the person who committed the crime. While studying the picture line up of about 6 different african american men and while spending 5 minutes examining the picture line-up she declared Ronald Cotton as her rapist. She was also able to study a physical line up of the same men from the picture line up and pointed out Ronald Cotton as the person that raped her once again. Years later, it was brought to Jennifer Thompson;s attention that she had chosen the wrong guy and in result she falsely selected Ronald Cotton as her rapist. According to DNA evidence, the actual rapist was Bobby Poole.Watching the video made me question the use of eyewitnesses in the courtroom based off of the process of memory and reliability of what they actually remember.
    In the sense perception chapter, the section of “The myth of the mental instant replay” connections with this crime. People believes the memory as a camera that records the full details. It would allow you to play and remember every detail of what you just witnessed or seen. Especially in the justice system, this type of mental processing comes with a lot of cross-examinations. But in reality, our memory is malleable. It's easily contaminated by things we accept into suggestion and it creates holes in our memory of what we seen. Many studies have shown that eyewitness testimonies are often inaccurate. But, we also have to realize perception is selective which affects the meaning of any scene being noticed, changed or ignored. In this particular crime, Jennifer Thompson studied her rapist's face but was still able to choose the wrong man during examining the line ups. Our brains don't create a detailed internal model of the actual scene but an assumption of a representation of the scene itself. The person who actually committed the crime was not in the line up, so instead of examining the faces she was comparing them to one another and trying to figure out who looked more familiar than the other. Ronald Cotton and Bobby Poole shared a resemblance in their facial appearance, so Jennifer Thompson choice was based upon who looked more like the representation of the person in her mind. In my Ib English class, we watched a video of a woman who murdered her two children and she was the only eye witness. She described what she had done to them and why. Her step children had raped and brutally tormented her youngest son But her entire testimony was questioned whether the crime was actually committed or if it was a tragic event that had happened to her during her childhood. During her testimony, she replayed the entire crime in a very detailed way. But it was questioned because she confused the dates of the crimes and when they were committed. Even though she able to remember a majority of what she had done to her children, there were clearly some holes in her memory of when it actually happened.
    Emonee

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    1. Brea
      Emonee, your post gave a great connection to the recent TOK chapter and personal experience.
      Develop a KQ that can be possibly applied to the readings for better clarification.
      Discuss other IB classes as well

      Delete
  19. Claire
    Eyewitness Testimony
    This video focuses on the ideal concept that memory is malleable, easily contaminated, and susceptible to suggestion. In the video, they discuss the case between Jennifer Thompson and her supposed rapist, Ronald Cotton. While being raped, Thompson vowed to herself that she would study his face so that if she survived she would help the police catch him. After being brought in to identify who her rapist might be, with confidence in her memory, Jennifer Thompson choose Ronald Cotton, out of five other images as her rapist. Shortly after, Ronald Cotton was brought in for a line-up so that he could be identified. Thompson looked at the several men standing behind the glass and identified Ronald Cotton as her rapist once again. Once Thompson had made her choose, the detective in the room had informed her that the she had chosen the same man from the photo line-up. Which reassured Thompson that she indeed had found her rapist. However, the man Thompson was 100% sure was her rapist was not after all. Cotton fought to prove his innocence and was able to get them to test the DNA samples from the night of the rape. Not only did it prove that Ronald Cotton was not Jennifer Thompson’s rapist, but it was Bobby Poole. Touching on the fundamentals of sense perception, Researchers went further in examining how unreliable eyewitness testimonies really are. They brought up the fact that while Cotton was identifying who had raped her it took a while, it actually took longer than it would have if she truly recognized her rapist. Bringing up the topic of recognition memory, which is the ability to quickly recognize previously encountered events, people, and or objects. Since she was unable to quickly recognize the individual another factor started to interfere. Formally known as the Interference theory, which consist of either proactive interference or retroactive interference. Proactive interference is the forgetting of information due to prior information from memory. Retroactive interference is the decreased recall of information due to the clashing of new data. They also discussed how Jennifer Cotton did not recognize or have any sort of reaction towards Bobby Poole. This had something to do with the detective basically ‘reassuring’ her decision. Memory is malleable and because Cotton was told that she had chosen the same person from before, this was one of the three ways that caused her to trust her senses/ memories. Further into the video they displayed some memory experiments that required you to watch someone commit a cry, only see small portions of their face, and then

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  20. Emonee
    During my personal experience of being a witness of a crime years ago, when I had been questioned by the police, and asked to look at the faces of 7 different males and I had to see who looked familiar to me. When you are looking at more than one person at a time, you often forget parts of the person’s face. Instead of looking for the person that looked familiar, I was looking at their eyes to see which ones I thought I recognized. Since the people who committed the crime wore masks, it was even harder. At the end, I chose the wrong person. My mind had adjusted what I had actually seen. Especially being a witness in a crime and being in shock, you are dealing with different things you would have to remember about what happened at once so it's challenging when it comes to expressing what actually happened.
    This video helped me to understand how the mind isn't as reliable as people perceive it to be and how eyewitnesses often affect the crime’s results. They can effect the crime with the reliability of the memory of what actually happened. Before I use to see the mind as a way to store what you believe and know. But in reality, the mind alters what you believe you have seen which makes it inaccurate and unreliable.

    How does your mind affect the reliability of what you actually know?
    How would you be able to distinguish what you think happened and what actually happened?

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  21. Claire (continued)
    choose out of a lineup of people and pictures who you saw commit the crime. While they were conducting the experiment, I decided to do it as well. I was 100% sure that had chosen the right person only to find out that I had chosen an innocent person. When the researchers showed the first image they assured the person that they assured me that I had picked the right one, however, when they did it again it was a comparison between the criminal from before and a new image. I feel right into the trap and choose the criminal I had chosen before, which turned out to have not been the correct criminal. The discussion of how memory is essentially “deceiving” reminded me of the day I saw this man in church with a new-born baby, I thought that I recognized him as my teacher’s younger brother, but he didn’t have any kids. I was so surprised so I turned to my cousin who knew the younger brother and said that the man I saw was him and he has children now. She kept telling me that it wasn’t him, but I was using my memory of what he looked like and assured her that it was. Later in the day, I found out it wasn’t him because my teacher’s younger brother wasn’t even in America, but regardless of that I was still so sure that it was him. I didn’t understand until now that it had been so long since I had seen my teacher’s younger brother so my memory of him had been interfered with. In English class, we were reading The Stranger by Albert Camus. In the book a man named Meursault was convicted of killing an Arab. During his trial there were many people that he had encountered who came to complete and eyewitness testimony, such as his lady friend, Marie. Who hesitates to even try and recall anything that went on between the two. I really didn’t think anything about her testimony or even how much she tolerated his ‘life is meaningless” ways until now. I realized that she basically ignored all signs against her judgement because she remembered the simple yes to their marriage, so she let that interfere with whatever she would say against him. Further understanding of everything discussed in the video allowed me to realize that how we interpret things based off of our memory can even affect how we interpret art. I recall looking at images for my comparative study and describing, analyzing, and interpreting them. When I was looking at a piece of art from Louise Bourgeois, I described it as an opaque white sculpture with semi graphic intent. I began saying that she was trying to portray sexuality and the fear instilled in woman. I stood with that interpretation because of prior knowledge of what her work is usually about, however as I kept researching and found new information my perception of her work began to change. The more I looked into the interferences of the mind I realized exactly what happened, which is some of the same interferences that falsely imprison individuals. After watching this video, I began to really question if sight really is the most “privileged” and important sense among the five. I realized that almost every day my sight is playing tricks on me. Just recently I was staring at person for so long that I began to think I truly knew them when I didn’t. I almost walked up to them as if they were a very close friend of mine. So I began to wonder if sight ultimately isn’t as important as some people make it out to be. Are blind people more exposed to the truth because they can’t see or do they suffer from the effects of illusions caused by sight as well?

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    1. Beltine
      I think you addressed the topic thoughtfully and insight-fully.The connections you made whether it was personal or towards a class made me as a reader want to go back into the different texts we've read and look for those things you spoke about.I think if you expounded more on how memory affects art would be helpful. Good Job! Claire

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  22. Jeneva
    “How did she fail to recognize the correct witness”, is a question that used to be asked time and time when many innocent people were falsely accused and sentenced for crimes that they did not do. Before there was technology created to accurately test objects from crime scenes for any form of DNA, eyewitness testimonies used to be one of the most reliable and vital forms of evidence. Someone that witnessed the crime or was a victim of the crime was able to identify the person that they suspected committed the and that person would instantly become the criminal and given their sentence. Witness testimony has so much weight on them that they can be determined as being direct evidence or circumstantial evidence. In the case of Jennifer Thompson and Ronald Cotton, Thompson’s eyewitness testimony would be considered as direct, since she was the victim she was present at the time of the crime. Being able to identify the attacker herself was also something that was used as an advantage in her case. While retelling the story of the night that she was attacked, Jennifer emphasis the idea of her “studying” the attackers face thoroughly because she essentially wanted to be able to identify him so he can suffer the consequences of her actions. When later asked to identify the attacker from a set up of photos, it took her not one, not two but five minutes to pick out the person who she claimed attacked her. If she studied the attacker like she said she did, wouldn’t that have allowed her to be able to have a clear picture in her mind of what her attacked looked like? I later learned that if she had remembered the attacker then she should’ve been able to identify them in 10-15 seconds. The answer to the question is answered when the relationship of visual sensory and memory is analyzed. In the sense perception chapter, the idea of your memory being a video recorder that can be accessed when needed is found to be completely false. How well you saw something and what you wanted to see comes into play with how vivid your memory can be. For example when you’re at a baseball game and one of the players on the team that you’re rooting for slides onto a base, and everyone is just waiting to see if they were safe or not. You continue to tell yourself that the person is safe because that's what you want the outcome to be, you start to convince yourself that you saw the player’s foot touch the base and they are safe when they really weren’t. This is a bit like what Jennifer did, she was so convinced that one of those men in the pictures was her attacker that she spent an ample amount of time trying to piece details together which lead her to falsely accuse an innocent man of a crime that he did not commit. The sense perception chapter specifically mentions how eyewitness testimonies can be manipulated by other factors such as emotion. I think that this occurred twice in Thompson’s case; once during the actual attack and again when the investigator shared information with her about picking the same guy twice. During the actual attack I think that the stress that she placed on herself by wanting to study her attacker thoroughly may have altered her memory. She might have been able to identify him right after the attack but there might have been a period in which she experienced shock causing her memory to remember only bits and pieces. Also “reinforcements alters memory dramatically” is an important comment that was made. The investigator telling her that she picked the same guy twice made her feel accomplished, forcing her to think that she did her part, leaving her feeling that she finally did what she sought out to do since the attack. This caused her to not even recognize the actual attacker in court three years after. Her mind thought that the case was basically old news and by then she probably had forgotten any type of image she had of him in her head. Jennifer became so accustomed of seeing and identifying Ronald as the attacker that it became embedded in her that he was the rapist.

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  23. Jeneva (continued)

    Eyewitness testimonies alone are not reliable, some other form of evidence needs to be incorporated so the assumptions would actually become valid. In IB Biology we are recently completely two labs that are testing the accuracy of Mendel's genotype and phenotype laws. The basis of the theory basically states that the dominant and recessive genotype of the parents will equally be passed down to their offspring. By using crossing green plants with purple plants and by flipping coins to determine dominance, we found out the Mendel’s laws are correct and they can be proven in the simplest forms. I made that connection because of the fact that Mendel’s laws are still relevant and reliable today. What if his law wasn’t “set in stone” or written down and published and proven to be valid? Would we still rely on it to educate us about the ins and out of genetics? Of course not, just like how eyewitness testimonies aren’t valid because of lack of certainty that what was claimed to be seen was actually seen. Eye witness testimonies shouldn’t be dismissed altogether, they should just be supported with some other type of evidence.

    How does the need for solid validity cause one to question ideals that lack foundation and meaning?

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    1. Mabel
      Your feedback was well developed. You included some good points that you carried out throughout your response. What seems to be lacking would be a personal connection to your life.

      Delete
  24. Mabel

    The videos focused on how memory can be contaminated, as well as the idea of eye witnesses are not the most reliable sources because of the fact that memory is malleable and susceptible to suggestions. The video told the story of how a woman was raped and when she pointed out the culprit, it was the wrong person. When the victim was brought to a physical lineup, she chose the person the best fit the image of the man she had in her head, and was told that that was the same person she chose in the photo line up. This made her certain the she chose the right person, and reinforced her decision. The person that she said was the rapist had some similar facial features to the person that actually raped her. The lineup makes people assume that one of them are infact the culprit; the actual culprit was not in the line up. When the real person isn’t there, people tend to pick the person that looks the most like them, which is exactly what the victim did. When she was shown the actual person who raped her, she did not feel anything towards him nor believe that he was the one who raped her. She still believed it was the person she chose and his image was what she saw in her head when ever she thought about that night.

    Legal systems view an eye witness testimony as the most reliable piece of evidence. This is because the person giving the testimony was actually there when the situation happened. They view the brain as a camera that records every part of a scene in full details through their visual perception. Then when someone asks for this information, they would go back to their mental file and the tape would reply in their mind, exactly how it happened. But this is not the case whatsoever. Studies have shown that eyewitnesses are very often inaccurate. Memory is susceptible to change. There are many factors that can manipulate the account of a memory. In the case of the rape victim, once the the police officer told her that the person she identified in the physical lineup was the same person she identified in the photo lineup, she was completely convinced that he was the person that committed the crime.

    This occurrence can be seen in various aspects of life, like Russian and IB math studies, where you have to commit a series of numbers, rules, and theorems to memory. I remember another time when my memory was altered just because a person who doubted my abilities in pronouncing a Russian greeting that I was all too familiar with. I thought that to say hello in Russian, you would say it this way, but Mariatu told me otherwise, in which I committed to memory. Because she hinted to me that I was wrong, I changed what I thought was the correct way to say the word, to the way she had told me to because I doubted myself. In math, when I am taking a test, I get stressed out because of all of the formulas I have to commit to memory and how it will affect my grade. Because of these factors, what I once knew very well became very hazy, and I was unsure of the answers I wrote on my rest.

    I can recall a time when I was frustrated with my younger sister for using my headband without asking and losing it , and unknowingly carried that feeling over throughout the day. When I was asked what she did to provoke my anger, I noticed that it was hard to recall the exact details
    When i was asked what the color of the headband was,I just said the first color that came to mind. Red, but in all actuality it was blue, and the red headband was the one I saw in someone's hair.

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    1. Feedback by; Jeneva
      -Wasn't enough depth in terms of connections
      -As you talked about the events of the case, you should've made connections on how each of the aspects applied to what was learned in the sense perception chapter.
      -The connection you made in regards to how another person can interfere with your memory through questioning the way a word is pronounced was good.
      - The connection with math should've been more detailed.

      Delete
  25. Aniyah

    Before watching the video I assumed that sight was man's most reliable sense but the video had led me to changing my perspective on just how reliable I find our sense of sight. What part really stuck out to me was when the psychologist, Gary Wells, explained how Lesley Stahl confused Ronald Cotton as her rapist because of the police reinforcing the idea that she picked the right man from the line up it reminded me of what we read about in the sense perception chapter on how the various visual illusions that make our sight unreliable, in Stahl's case her perception had deceived her due to the visual illusion, visual grouping, which involved looking for meaning and grouping our perceptual experiences into shapes and patters; example: the line up. The visual grouping had led her to comparing the suspects with one another rather than her memory. Another part that had a connection with the chapter was during the interview when Stahl had voiced how determinated she was to catching her rapist which led to her sight being selective due to mood since her trauma influenced her perception. This case had made me think of an occasion in History class where we read numerous primary sources from soldiers that had been in WW2, after reading Mr. Vogeley would always ask us why we could not always 100% trust what they said, it had never occurred to me that it was not because of bias but that their memory could be biased due to selective senses such as the volatile moods and the intensity of war which would meddle with their perception. Personally, it made me recall a disagreement my sister, Shaniyah and I had with our father over whether or not we spent last Christmas with our father or mother. I was not involved in the dispute until she asked me for my opinion I voiced that I was unsure who we spent it with, but after hearing Shaniyah repeat over and over that we spent Christmas with father I had began to agree with her which led to both of disagreeing with our father before he settled the dispute by calling and asking our mother who said we was with her last Christmas. I could not believe it, my mind had been feeding me scenario after scenrio of being at our father's house on Christmas while sitting in front of the tree with open presents. Just as the police had reinforced Stahl she had picked the right man out, Shaniyah had reinforced repeatedly to me on how I was right about us being at our father's last Christmas and led me to fully believing I was right like Stahl did. It made me realize Mr. Wells is right, if a person could not recall or recognize within the first 15 seconds then they most likely are not sure with their answer which I was not until someone told me I decided right.

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    1. Shania

      I like how organized your writing is , it was structured very nicely and flowed.

      You could have included more on how your personal experience may have affected your perspective on this case and what Lesley Stahl did.
      Do you blame her?
      How do you feel about her testimony?
      When you are unsure about something what is your first instinct?

      Good connect from History class to Sense Perception Chapter. Just make sure you go back and connect it back to the case to keep it relevant.
      Also more personal opinion on what you thought about the case itself could have been nice.

      Good Job! :)

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  26. Jefferson
    In regards to the video on how the things we often see can be deceiving I feel like the video does a tremendous job in exemplifying that. The video started off by explaining the situation in the court case and the events that led to the verdicts. As the victim in the video said, during her encounter with the alleged suspect, she spent the entire time examining and studying his face so she could select him later during the lineup at the police lineup. As the video highlights in the latter stages, eye witness testimonies often times aren’t reliable especially due to the way the police screening system is structured. Often times the system hampers the victim’s decision to make the right choice because even though they claim to know who the suspect is and do pick someone from the list, the real suspect may not be on the line. The victim feels that they are obliged to choose from the list, it’s like someone given you the choice between the numbers 1 through 5 and asking you to pick one. You might feel like you have no other choice. As the section “the myth of the mental instant replay” under chapter 4 suggests, eye witness tests “are shockingly vulnerable to manipulation by emotion, social stresses and position,’ also as I mentioned before, the way the question is asked tend to have an influence. As the researcher states in the video, recognition memory is instantaneous and if the suspect was there she would have known from the start. These cases and our way of thinking reminds me of the procedures we go through during test sessions, she states how her selection at the police station was like taking a test, she narrowed down the choices. The wrongful procedures in the judiciary system was like in the stranger and the way Meursault was approached. Just like in the video, the judicial system itself was not right in the ethical sense, the video talks about how her choice was influenced by emotions just like the people in the court in Algiers were affected by Meursault’s way of life. From personal experiences and even from the exemplar given in the video, at times you may feel like you have the right person but later on you realize that you were wrong. Memorization and also the way they are instructed often influences their perceptions, from experience it looks like we tend to think we don’t have a choice when making a decision like. We compare the candidates to each other rather to our memory.

    Knowledge Question:
    In terms of the court case how can the victim be blamed for something like this when the system was at fault for the predicament that they put her in?
    Ans: At first I didn’t really understand why the man was so forgiven of her after what she put him through but looking back on it I realize that the blame lies in the hands of the state government and the police system because of the way the conduct these types of procedures.

    Pertaining to the chapter how the whole concept of change blindness did affects the person’s decision when choosing the suspect?
    Ans: Towards the end of the video a researcher showed a picture of a suspect and then altered the photos, she then later compared the altered one to the real one and the lady stuck with the altered one. This brings up the change blindness and inattentional blindness discussed in the book which occurs when visual alterations go unnoticed to the person looking at it.

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    1. Alexander - Jefferson Feedback
      Content Expectations: A decent mixture of materials , concepts, and discussion. However there are no personal experiences at all. It overall makes the blog post impersonal. The KQ are weak, they are not about knowledge and don't seem portable. However, credit for at least tempting to answer them although it was in vain.
      Clarity: Transitions are okay and the vocabulary works.
      Style & Expectations: Overall correct grammar and mechanics throughout. It shows evidence of care.
      Other:
      Candidates are mentioned at the end, but I don't know what exactly you're referring to. If it is the presidential candidates, perhaps a personal connection to the election season could have been made.

      Delete
  27. Brea When questioning the validity of Eyewitness testimony, we explored all of the problems and bias that arrive with the sense of sight.In the video “False Eyewitness Testimony,” we found a case in which a woman filed a rape case against a man who she thought raped her. After describing the facial features of the suspect, she chose the suspect out of a lineup of men. Gary Wells, a professor of psychology at Iowa State University says that when the real perpetrator isn't in the first line up, it is difficult for witnesses to tell who the person actually is. Another issue that occurs in the criminal defense system is when a witness chooses a person from the criminal line up that matches the photo that they chose as the suspect. When Jennifer spent five minutes looking at the photos in the search for the face that she recognized, she was using recognition memory, according to Wells. In the sense perception chapter of TOK, we learned that everyone has their own point of view memory, meaning that they remember the situation as they see fit. In this case, we come to find that the facial features Jennifer focused on the most, caused her to have a bias during the rape trial. Without the real rapist there, she was only given a small selection of suspects to choose from, who were all innocent. This then causes Jennifer to find the next physically similar suspect that she chose in the photos, and in turn gave her the idea that he was the rapist. Wells then continues to say that Jennifer should have had each individual suspect line up alone so she could compare to the individual that she remembered in her mind. A similar incident to this mistake of choosing the next item has personally occurred to me in the past. Growing up with siblings, there is often that moment when something breaks and my mom couldn't find out who did it so she would choose the next best option of sending everyone to time out. This pattern of choosing the next option from the lack of memory often causes a mistake in what was originally wanted or desired. In the rape case, after looking at all the images, she truly believed that Ronald Cotton was her rapist. In a context, her natural instinct of thinking long and hard on the matter of who the suspect was is the beginning of the false accusation. She studied the images for over five minutes, when professor Wells states that it should only be for 10-15 seconds. A similar concept can be applied to the IB math class. When an administrator came to watch the class, the perception of the teacher changed as well as the teaching format. Often, observation causes a change in behavior and thought in memory that causes a person to behave or think as they see fit in their own design. With DNA testing being introduced, Cotton was able to finally set his story as true. However, this case should be used to understand that Eyewitness Testimony is not always accurate and that it should not be the only way to determine a crime.

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    1. Emonee

      I really liked your blog post Brea. The content of the comment was organized and understandable to what you were trying to say. Your post was well thought out and tied well into you concluding sentence. I think you could of included more details about your personal experience to tie it all together. But overall, the post was great.

      Delete
  28. Efi
    I personally find the video very interesting and relatable to various other cases. I've watch documentaries about how people get wrongly convicted for crimes they didn't commit. Sometimes it is because of false eyewitness testimonies, but other times it's because of lack of concrete evidence or investigation. In relation to the investigation, I feel as though the wrong person is often convicted because once the investigator and possibly the victim feel they solved the case and the right person, they don't want to even doubt that in the slightest. This is like what was said in the video, she was 100% certain that it was cotton and the acceptance of this/confirmation by the investigator gave both the victim and investigator no reason to doubt that cotton was the perpetrator. From what I've noticed, once some people are sure of something, they ignore all the slightest things that might challenge their stance and their mind and memory even try to shape new information around their original stance. This is similar to what the TOK book mentioned about the law of simplicity and how individuals are content with thinking they know what's going on based on if it fits the stimulus.

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    1. Tamara
      It is evident that you were able to present ideas from the sense perception chapter into your blog post when you mentioned the law of simplicity.

      Delete
  29. Efi
    The book used the example of the 2 circles and how while they don't look like conventional circles, we’d still describe them as circles because they are close to our idea of how a circle looks like; we seek the simplest answer and the one most like what we're searching for. The victim in the video was trying to locate a face that's most similar to her rapist, but in doing so and possibly following the law of simplicity, she picked the wrong person based on similar facial qualities they shared. This is why she was so sure, without a doubt in her mind that Ron Cotton was her rapist. This whole situation, including the confirmation by the investigator reminds me of an episode of brain games. They wanted to test how different people could see the same thing, yet come out with completely different statements on what they saw. The chapter said things like our emotions and mood at the time, social stress and position, the way the question is phrased, the amount of attention we gave the situation at the time, and other factors manipulates our thoughts on what really happened. This shows the unreliability of mental replay which the eyewitness in the video was relying on. Because of her position, she was extremely eager to catch the witness and so who she saw wasn't who she picked because she was looking for similar faces. In the experiment done on brain games, after the witnesses saw what happened, the people in on it tried to influence what the eyewitnesses saw by including things that threw them off. This includes saying things like “what was the cop with the police hat doing?” or “What do you think about how the guy in the orange shirt reacted?”. The people would answer these questions and even go as far as agreeing to other statements and including their one opinion of it. This happens to be because they think that the people asking the questions are know the situation better, so whatever the person asking the questions brings up, the witnesses minds’ find a way to fit what they saw into What the person asking the questions is saying. This is similar to Sarah’s position because they gave her the pictures and told her to identify her rapist. Since these are the people they found, in her mind she's certain that one of the men are the person who did it and so her mind helps her piece together the bits of the real culprits face and pick the most similar face.

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  30. Efi
    I'm not certain if they told her before showing the pictures that the real perpetrator might not be in the photos but the video said that's what they do now. If they didn't tell her this then them not saying it probably influenced her choice more. In biology we've discussed about the importance of DNA and scientific discoveries that change how we do things. This includes things such as how there's so many ways to get information on people just by a little sample of dna (or less related, how you can determine a baby's sex very early on). When doing selections on our biology outline, if discoveries that can change how we do things are mentioned, I always mention how important they are. The sperm in the evidence box that helped free cotton was retrieved and DNA test were ran on it. This shows how extremely important these discoveries are to real life situations. Otherwise without it, Ronald Cotton would still be in prison for a crime he didn't commit. I just wished DNA testing was much more widely known to the public and those in prison because then Cotton could have been freed many years earlier. Though there weren't any cases that used DNA testing at the time he was convicted, a few years later it was already being used in cases. It's good though that he was finally freed after 11 years because I've seen cases where people don't come out until 30 or 40 years later. Yet, like cotton they all come out with a forgiving attitude. It's just sad to me how the justice system could be so wrong sometimes and I'm aware of issues involving the prison system. That's why one of my ideas for my math IA were to do research surrounding people who were falsely convicted for crimes and went to prison for it. Additionally the video relates a little to my extended essay topic as it also deals with the prison system, but not exactly false eyewitness testimonies.

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    1. Tamara
      It is good that you were able to connect the case to other IB courses such as biology,theory of knowledge and math studies.

      Delete
  31. Efi I think using the computer to identify the suspect and saying before hand that the actual suspect might now be in the picture is an improvement from how people would get to study the pictures and go back and forth searching for who they think did it, changing their mind. Showing each person for only a few seconds would work even better because they'll know instantly if it was or wasn't that person. The computer program they were using in the video didnt seem to have a timer, so I imagine they had optimal time to study the faces, just not compare them. It does seem shocking that she wasn't able to regonize the real culprit in court, but then again when I only saw the the person who actually did it picture, I didn't think him and cotton looked alike. It was until I saw the pictures besides each other that I saw the resemblance. I see how she would still stand by her her first identification because of her strong emotional ties to the case, she really wanted him locked away and she felt she picked the right person.

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  32. Tamara
    The videos “Eyewitness Testimony” from 60 Minutes part one and two explains flaws in eyewitness testimony that have led to individuals being falsely convicted of crimes. In Burlington, North Carolina on July 28, 1984, Bobby Poole broke into an apartment, severed phone wires, and sexually assaulted a woman named Jennifer Thompson. Poole's fled and raped a second woman half a mile away. Jennifer Thompson studied the man who raped her so that if she survived she could help the police identify the man who raped her. Thompson paid attention to details of the person’s physical features such as whether they has scars and or tattoos so that she could help the police convict the man. Three days after the rape there was a photo line up of six possible suspects that did not even contain the actual assailant. Jennifer studied the photos for five minutes and was certain that Ronald Cotton was the person who raped her. Ronald Cotton gave a detailed account where he was that night but it was a false alibi because he got his weekends confused. Personally I have forgotten the dates of when I did something. For example I tested my memory of what I did last Monday and I was not able to clearly recall my whereabouts or the activities I did. On August 1, 1984, Ronald Cotton was arrested for the rapes. There was a physical line up where Jennifer chose Ronald Cotton and the police confirmed that it was the same person. In January 1985, Cotton was convicted by a jury of one count of rape and one count of burglary. In November 1987, Cotton was retried, this time for both rapes. The second victim had decided that Cotton was the assailant. In 1994 two new lawyers, at the request of the chief appellate defender, took over Cotton's defense. They filed a motion for appropriate relief on the grounds of inadequate appeal counsel. They also filed a motion for DNA testing that was granted in October 1994. The DNA testing proved that Cotton was innocent and that Poole was guilty. Cotton was released from prison on June 30, 1995.

    I began to question, “How reliable eyewitness testimony is as a primary source of information?” In Theory of Knowledge class we question the limitations of sense perception and how it can affect scenarios. For imstance, our class looked at illusions and that showed how eyesight can be manipulated. The sense perception chapter of the Theory of Knowledge book explains that memory is not like a mental instant replay. Memory can be manipulated by “emotion, social stresses, and position, or the way a question is asked and other factors. Gary Whales a professor of psychology that has studied eyewitness memory stated that eyewitness testimony has two key properties. One is that it is often unreliable and two is that it is highly perasuasive to jury. Thompson picked the wrong man due to change blindness and imattentiomal blindmess which are changes that occur in the visual field that go unnoticed by the perciever. Poole and Cotton looked very similar but since Poole was not even a suspect she chose Cotton as the assailant. Recognition memory is rapid so if someone is taking longer than 10 or 15 seconds it is likely that they are using more than just reliable recognition memory. It would not have taken Thompson 5 minutes to identify the assailant if she was using reliable recognition memory. Elizabeth Loftiff a professor of psychology on law explained that when studying people’s faces it is easy to confuse two people who look alike. Thompson saw Cotton’s face and her memory remembered his face so when she was given the chance to look at Poole she did not recognize him.

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    1. Efi
      -You should proofread your work, as there are a couple of grammar and punctuation errors.
      -While there's strong evidence from the text, you need more interconnections and connections to classes other than TOK.
      -Some sentences don't flow very well with the others around them. Some of the sentences are just typed with no further backing or explanation, when there is more that could be expounded on.
      -The way you started the second paragraph with "I began to question..." flowed really well and shows that you were reflecting on what you previously thought and what you know now.
      -You brought up cotton being trailed for a second rape case, but previously, you didn't mention it and only spoke on the second case as burglary. You should add a little more about this second case if you are to include it in your reflection.

      Delete
  33. Ethel
    While I was watching the videos of the interview of eyewitness testimony and Jennifer Thompson’s experience, it drew me to the sense of perception reading and the subheadings “the myth of instant replay” and “on seeing things as they really are.” The video brings to light the flaws that eyewitness testimonies have and how it affects many people who are wrongfully convicted for crimes they did not commit. While being raped, Jennifer makes sure to study the features of her rapist face in order to be able to identify him if she ever had the chance and for him to be punished. She studies the suspects for approximately five minutes and she is convinced it is Cotton which gets him locked up. Even during the second trial when Poole the right suspect was in court, Jennifer was not able to identify him and she feels nothing however is instead angry at the defense for doubting her of forgetting her rapist. In the sense of perception readings, I learned that people always want to be right, win, be safe, and do not want to be fooled. This is one of the reasons why eyewitness testimonies can be often inaccurate because it is very vulnerable to manipulation by one's emotions and the position they are in. another connection is made to the chapter when Jennifer wants so much to for her rapist to be punished for his crimes that she goes blind to the actual rapist in front of her and is convinced that Cotton is the actual rapist. We mostly see only what we want to and fail to realize what is around us . If something is happening outside of what we are focused on then we fail to recognize it. When people have their minds set on an idea that they believe is true or right, it becomes very difficult for them to be convinced otherwise. Jennifer is in a position where she is hurting and angry to an extent where she does not consider all the other possible options because her mind is fixed on having cotton pay for the sins that she truly believes he committed. This is also demonstrated on the test done by Gary Wells where a video of a man doing suspicious activity is shown to a group of people and they are told he places a bomb down the air shaft. They are then shown a lineup of people to choose who they believe is the criminal and the results show that the subjects who were not told who the right suspect was were often unsure of their response while those who were told were right become immediately positive about their choice. This goes to show that testimonies can also be influenced by others because when they are reinforced that their idea maybe right, then become absolutely sure of themselves. The problem with jennifer was that she was given multiple people to choose from and this caused her to assume that one of them had to be her rapist and as a result she chose who looked closely to him.

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  34. Ethel
    The video also reminded me of IB history where we were asked to read two documents of black soldiers about their experience of serving in WWII. I could see that one document was more detailed than the other and one also seemed to have exaggerated their treatment by the white officers. Even though I obviously had no war experience, I could clearly tell than one guy was more truthful because he stated the positive and negative aspects of his experience and probably remembered more than the other which made his interpretation more credible. This is similar to jennifer's situation because from her memory, she has been exposed and is more familiar with Cotton so during the second trial when Poole was present she could not identify him because she is influence to pick cotton over Poole as she has been choosing him over and over again identifying him as her rapist. This connects to the idea of how memory can be tricky and this adds to my new understanding of how false testimonies can definitely be accidental. If I had not watched this video, I would be very judgmental about witnesses who cause people to go to jail for crimes they did not commit. This video has opened me to the different things that can influence someone's choices and has given me reasons to why some eyewitnesses wrongly accuse others and it makes me wonder if I would be able to think of the possibilities other plausible reasons for false accusations.

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    1. Hannah

      The evaluations made and connections drawn from the videos to the different parts of your discussion were well thought out. (History) In reference to the rubric,you included connections with the chapter as well as connections to an IB class. However, you need to proof-read before submitting in order to catch some of the grammatical and punctuational errors; along with some confusion in the writing due to run-on sentences. Also try to include a specific example of your personal experience connected to the video.

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  35. Hannah

    The two videos discussed a situation in which a rape victim falsely accused a man as her rapist from false eye witness identification. When DNA testing released and the true rapist was found, the victim was dumbfounded as she had every reason to believe the man convicted was the rapist she remembered. As I watched the videos I was extremely bothered at the proven fact that so many innocent people are in jail over falsely accused crimes and most of them cannot do anything about it. I watch enough of Law and Order SVU to know that eye witness identification is a very unstable and unreliable source that should never be used as the sole evidence to imprison one being accused. The woman in the video claimed to had studied her rapist so deeply that she could identify him with swiftness, yet it was shown how the mind and eyes can deceive and play tricks on people, especially in these cases. This was mentioned in the sense perception chapter as it explained how "there is more to seeing than meets the eye." They also mentioned the power of memory and how this can also be very deceiving as it does not relate to a replay button on a television. It stated how experiments were performed to show that eyewitness testimony can truly be inaccurate. The video conducted an experiment of this sort and showed how inaccurate our memory can be, since it is mostly impaired sections of what you try to remember, just as the chapter explained. Memory, perception, and decision making is often influenced by emotion and position. I can recall times when I would sometimes forget things I have had memorized for a long period of time, in moments where my emotion and position took over. For example, a time when I came home from the store the house alarm came on since no one was home. For some reason I could not remember this 5 numbered passcode that I had known for the many years I lived in my house. I figured that since the alarm caught me off guard, my emotion manipulated my memory and caused me to blank out in the position I was in, which made me forget the passcode. In IB Biology, we discussed how sense perception errors occur often and can be caused by the manipulation of the mind by causing us to see only what we want to see in certain situations filled with heavy emotion and such. This also makes me think back to IB Literature of The Stranger and how Meursault's decisions were, in his mind, manipulated by the emotions going through him along with the position he was placed in. Personally, I have been in many situations where I was biased on a certain point, which caused me to mentally see things differently than what they were. This causes me to take things completely out of context in order to correlate with my own opinion and understanding. At times we can subconsciously turn biased to certain things which can alter our perception of them and allow our minds to run wild based on no actual evidence of accusations that we may bring up.

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    1. Ethel

      I like your connections and your evaluation of the video however your reflection seems vague and lacking. I would recommend you elaborate on your ideas as it seems like you did not spend quality time on your reflection. For the connection to the sense perception chapter, you only gave a generalization and you did not tie it back in to the video. Additionally when you make a reference to a class, make sure to give a specific example of what you did and what you learned from it or how it relates back to the idea of eyewitness testimony. The reflection would be better if you go in depth with you ideas and analyse them.

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  36. Remi

    In second grade at Thomas G. Pullen, I remember there being a very disruptive child that the teacher then had to call our security administrator. The administrator came down and took the child into his office. After a while he was gone, he started to call students from my class to make a statement. He called students that were around that child to know what happened, I was one of those students. Before my name was called up, the students who already went would tell me what to say so the child wouldn’t get in trouble. Now, this messed with my memory a bit because I felt as though I knew how it played out but with the students telling me to say something different, it created a different image. I was the last student to be called to the office and the security administrator asked me what happened and I told him “I don’t know,” I told him something along the lines that I’m not sure what happened and I don’t want to mess up the story. As the guy said in the video recognition memory is rapid. So since what happened wasn’t coming to mind since of the mixed stories I chose not to tell him a false with little truth story. In the video it discussed how memory plays tricks and how it is full of holes. When the main host was doing one of the exercises, she picked the wrong guy when they asked her to pick the guy who she saw from those pictures before. She picked wrong because the picture was altered so her mind tried to connect that with the altered picture so she can feel some type of certainty with her choice. I feel as though I can relate this to math. In math we are given problems that will ask for different solutions but will have similar wordings of what they want you to find. With that being said, those similar wordings would confuse me on what I am suppose to be doing, so I try to connect it with the others but end up getting it wrong since it’s not the same outcome. The video also discuss how eyewitnesses are often unreliable and they are highly persuasive to jurors. This reminded me of what I read in the TOK book, “ The myth of the mental instant reply.” It talks about how the eyewitness is often manipulated by emotions, reinforcement, and position. I absolutely agree with this because Jennifer was raped so her emotions are all over the place. Her main goal is trying to find her boogeyman in order for him to be punished. The faster this happens the more she feels content with finding the person who raped her and making sure he doesn’t hurt any other human being. It’s unfair to those who are convicted and sent to jail primarily based on an eyewitness because they are manipulated by many factors. By watching the video your mind deceives you all the time. There should be another way through the court for an innocent person to prove themselves besides testifying again because it didn’t seem to work for Cotton since he was in jail for 11 years before he was finally free. Watching these videos opened my mind to the fact that you can’t depend on your memory and no matter how sure you may have felt about something, there is always the fact that your memory is playing a trick on you.



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    1. Remi, I liked your overall personal experience of the incident when you were in elementary school, I felt like it was a great introduction and clean slate to start from in order to develop more and more on the topic of eyewitness testimony and sense perception. I liked how you incorporated the information from the chapter and used to it to develop your overall argument.

      The only thing I would edit or work on a little more was your connection to math. I found the connection very interesting and rare something I was unable to think about. I would develop it a little bit more so a reader who doesn't understand our math class can understand the connection. Maybe talk about ow are math class is a little more complex, how its not just picking A B C or D but how we use mathematical processes for real world situations and word problems.

      The grammar and mechanics were good and very clear.

      Jasmine

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  37. Beltine
    On July 28th 1984 Jennifer Thompson a 22 year old student was raped in her home by an African American male. While she was being raped. She carefully studied the facial and physical features of this man so that if she were to survive the incident, she would be able to identify the man and help police put him behind bars. Jennifer was able to escape and she gave police a very detailed description of the man, including what he wore so that it could be sketched. After going to through a line up process Jennifer chose Ronald Cotton as the perpetrator. The real perpetrator was Bobby Poole after DNA was tested using the sperm collected after the incident and it matched that of Bobby Poole. Cotton was proclaimed a free man 11 years after being wrongly accused and jailed for a crime he did not commit.

    The problem here is that when the system was set up eyewitness testimony was considered very reliable. More recent discoveries has proven this assumption to be incorrect. Memory is very fragile. As said in the chapter of sense perception our brain is not a tape recorder.It can’t tape, relay and keep track of all events that take place. Memory is malleable, full of holes and can be easily contaminated and it is susceptible to subjection. There are more than 200 cases where someone has been wrongly accused and put in jail because of an eye witnesses testimony. Several studies show that eye testimony is mostly inaccurate. For instance is one is given a line up and told to show who the perpetrator is even though the real perpetrator is not in the lineup, one will have a hard time recognizing that the perpetrator is not in the lineup. In Jennifer's case she chose who looked most similar to her perpetrator. Through much research they’ve come to find out that reinforcement alters memory. Meaning when someone confirms that you are right about something, it alters memory.

    While watching the video, many questions ran through my mind such as “could all what I've learned in history been altered before?”. As we all know as time goes by stories you were once able to tell start to become blurry and a little hard to shape into it original self. History is constantly being taught over and over again, you see it everywhere including textbooks and museums. But before they were put into textbooks and museums, someone had to remember all this information. Even with pictures and videos they could only say so much, someone had to explain what it showed because a picture can tell you a thousand things. As we’ve read and learned, memory is very fragile and malleable, so these stories aren’t fully accurate since the brain can only hold information for so long. At Least a little bit of the story is missing or something has been added onto it. Eye witness is also a tricky because people don’t always see the same thing. As said in chapter 3 of tok, change blindness prevents people from seeing small of big changes when they are focused or unfocused. Jennifer was unable to believe that she had made a mistake on who the perpetrator was because she focused more on that specific man and dismissed everyone else. While watching the video, I was also able to relate this subject of memory to myself and math. In IB math studies and all the math classes I've taken, we are constantly being told to remember formulas. You need a lot of practice and studying to remember these formulas so they could be used on the test. But sometimes you study these formulas and feel like you are ready to take the exam. While you are taking the exam you suddenly cannot remember some of the formulas or you can only remember little bits of the formulas. You become stressed out and the more stressed out, the more you forget the formulas. Our brains work in a mysterious ways. Why is it that sometime our minds go blank?

    Question-Pertaining to Jennifer's case, is it justifiable for people to blame Jennifer for a genuine mistake she made? Especially when it wasn’t in her control and it's just how the human brain works?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. After reading your blog post, I felt like there wasn't a balance between your reflections and interconnections. In other words, you could have questioned your biases if you had any, as well as add how the article made you feel. How would you have reacted to being in either Jennifer or Ronald's position. If you did the experiment in the video, then what did you find out. Include more evidence from the sense perception chapter. There is not much substance included in the beginning paragraph.

      Delete
  38. Jody-Ann (Part 1)
    Prior to reading the sense perception chapter and watching the assigned videos, I was a strong believer of seeing is believing. I mean, if I am looking at something and seeing it in that very moment how can I be wrong about what I am looking at. For example, at this moment I am looking at the black and white color of the the keyboard and I know that there is no way that I might be wrong about the colors with the exception of the “idea that color perception depends upon culture and language” because certain words or translations are missing from certain cultures.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Jody-Ann (Part 2)
    Of course there are a few exceptions to seeing is believing such as illusions or even looking in a mirror as oppose to your phone’s camera because in my opinion when I look in the mirror at my reflection and when I look at my reflection on my phone’s camera they seem to be different. However, I usually associated it with the angle through which I was looking at it or even the phone’s camera quality. Nonetheless, applying perception to memory takes on a whole new meaning prompting me to rethink my stance (seeing is believing) when focusing on this particular subject matter. After watching the videos i've come to realize that an eyewitness account is very influential in a court but they can be wrong. The victim, Jennifer, stated that while being raped she looked for ways to identify him such as an accent, tattoos, his voice or even a scar. I was surprised at hearing this bit of information because even though I have no personal experience in this matter, I had assumed that when a person is being raped their thoughts would be all over the place and their only concern would be trying to escape. Nevertheless, her decision to maintain her composure and study his traits helped her to identify the person who she thought raped her. After looking at the pictures of the suspects for five minutes, she absentmindedly chose the wrong person because he had similar traits to the man who raped her. If she studied the man raping her and was positive it was the man in the photo why didn’t she immediately recognized him in the lineup? Because recognition memory is instantaneous, she should not have needed to take 5 minutes to identify one person. The most it would have taken would be between 10-15 seconds for reliable recognition. Therefore, when she compared this to multiple choice questions on the SATs, eventually having to narrow down, I was convinced that she ultimately guessed on who the person who committed the crime was. Narrowing down answers is usually a strategy that I use while answering multiple choice questions I'm unsure of on a test but it was not the best strategy to use in this situation because whenever you use this strategy, you ended up having to guess the correct answer, or in this case, the suspect. In her mind she was convinced that she was right especially because she was later told that it was the same man she had picked twice as the suspect. As stated in chapter 4, shared sense perception can strengthen or weaken one’s thoughts or beliefs. So when she was told that she chose the same person twice, it only strengthened her perception. Similarly, the concept of seeing (or in this case hearing) is believing usually occurs when my friends and I would discuss the questions on a test after we've taken it. Whenever my friends and I chose the same answer for a specific question, I realize that that reinforcement straightened my confidence level and reduced, even eliminated, the doubts from my mind that I had answered the question wrong which is most likely the same reason why Jenifer failed to recognize Bobby Poole, her actual rapist, when he sat right in front of her in the court. The one person she thought she could never forget, she forgot because her judgment was clouded by the anger she felt when she had to reappear in court to once again identify who had raped her. I also noticed that some questions that my friends brought up I couldn't remember. As stated in the video and in the sense perception chapter, memory is fragile and it is not a video tape recorder, can be easily altered or contaminated. This fact is exemplified on a regular basis, even when someone starts panicking looking for their phone when it is right there in their hand the entire time. Additionally, Garry Wells, professor of psychology at Iowa state university stated that “ when the real guy isn't their, witnesses tend to pick the

    ReplyDelete
  40. Jody-Ann (Part 3)
    person who looks most like him”. Both men, Ronald Colton and Bobby Poole, do look alike since their facial features are very similar to each other's. The real perpetrator was not in the line up so Jenifer picked the person who looked the most similar to her rapist, unknowingly sending an innocent man to jail. However, Ronald Colton was not the only innocent man sent to jail, criminologist found that more than 75% of men sent to jail because of eyewitness testimonies were innocent. It wasn't until 11 years later that Ronald Colton was finally released from jail after DNA from the sperm cell proved his innocence. But isn't this still considered as perception, but factual perception based on evidence, not observed perception based on (in this situation) sight? In my Biology class, we discussed the chi-squared test which deals with observed and expected data to find out if the null hypothesis is correct. Applying this to Mendel's pea plant experiments, we conducted a plant experiment of our own to find out how many plants would have a certain stem color. We figured out the observe the data by just looking at the plants but we had to do further investigation to find the expected data. After obtaining this data we noticed that the expected and observed data was different. Therefore, it is easier to find the observe than to find the expected. Jenifer was able to observe different suspects and choose one of them but the expected (guilty) suspect cannot be found until concrete evidence is present/deeper investigation, which was obtaining the DNA sample is present.
    KQ: Does the concept of seeing is believing tie into the role of one’s sense perception being over clouded by observed evidence and reinforcements?

    ReplyDelete
  41. Jody-Ann (Part 2)
    Of course there are a few exceptions to seeing is believing such as illusions or even looking in a mirror as oppose to your phone’s camera because in my opinion when I look in the mirror at my reflection and when I look at my reflection on my phone’s camera they seem to be different. However, I usually associated it with the angle through which I was looking at it or even the phone’s camera quality. Nonetheless, applying perception to memory takes on a whole new meaning prompting me to rethink my stance (seeing is believing) when focusing on this particular subject matter. After watching the videos i've come to realize that an eyewitness account is very influential in a court but they can be wrong. The victim, Jennifer, stated that while being raped she looked for ways to identify him such as an accent, tattoos, his voice or even a scar. I was surprised at hearing this bit of information because even though I have no personal experience in this matter, I had assumed that when a person is being raped their thoughts would be all over the place and their only concern would be trying to escape. Nevertheless, her decision to maintain her composure and study his traits helped her to identify the person who she thought raped her. After looking at the pictures of the suspects for five minutes, she absentmindedly chose the wrong person because he had similar traits to the man who raped her. If she studied the man raping her and was positive it was the man in the photo why didn’t she immediately recognized him in the lineup? Because recognition memory is instantaneous, she should not have needed to take 5 minutes to identify one person. The most it would have taken would be between 10-15 seconds for reliable recognition. Therefore, when she compared this to multiple choice questions on the SATs, eventually having to narrow down, I was convinced that she ultimately guessed on who the person who committed the crime was. Narrowing down answers is usually a strategy that I use while answering multiple choice questions I'm unsure of on a test but it was not the best strategy to use in this situation because whenever you use this strategy, you ended up having to guess the correct answer, or in this case, the suspect. In her mind she was convinced that she was right especially because she was later told that it was the same man she had picked twice as the suspect. As stated in chapter 4, shared sense perception can strengthen or weaken one’s thoughts or beliefs. So when she was told that she chose the same person twice, it only strengthened her perception. Similarly, the concept of seeing (or in this case hearing) is believing usually occurs when my friends and I would discuss the questions on a test after we've taken it. Whenever my friends and I chose the same answer for a specific question, I realize that that reinforcement straightened my confidence level and reduced, even eliminated, the doubts from my mind that I had answered the question wrong which is most likely the same reason why Jenifer failed to recognize Bobby Poole, her actual rapist, when he sat right in front of her in the court. The one person she thought she could never forget, she forgot because her judgment was clouded by the anger she felt when she had to reappear in court to once again identify who had raped her. I also noticed that some questions that my friends brought up I couldn't remember. As stated in the video and in the sense perception chapter, memory is fragile and it is not a video tape recorder, can be easily altered or contaminated. This fact is exemplified on a regular basis, even when someone starts panicking looking for their phone when it is right there in their hand the entire time. Additionally, Garry Wells, professor of psychology at Iowa state university stated that “ when the real guy isn't their, witnesses tend to pick the

    ReplyDelete
  42. Jody-Ann (Part 3)
    person who looks most like him”. Both men, Ronald Colton and Bobby Poole, do look alike since their facial features are very similar to each other's. The real perpetrator was not in the line up so Jenifer picked the person who looked the most similar to her rapist, unknowingly sending an innocent man to jail. However, Ronald Colton was not the only innocent man sent to jail, criminologist found that more than 75% of men sent to jail because of eyewitness testimonies were innocent. It wasn't until 11 years later that Ronald Colton was finally released from jail after DNA from the sperm cell proved his innocence. But isn't this still considered as perception, but factual perception based on evidence, not observed perception based on (in this situation) sight? In my Biology class, we discussed the chi-squared test which deals with observed and expected data to find out if the null hypothesis is correct. Applying this to Mendel's pea plant experiments, we conducted a plant experiment of our own to find out how many plants would have a certain stem color. We figured out the observe the data by just looking at the plants but we had to do further investigation to find the expected data. After obtaining this data we noticed that the expected and observed data was different. Therefore, it is easier to find the observe than to find the expected. Jenifer was able to observe different suspects and choose one of them but the expected (guilty) suspect cannot be found until concrete evidence is present/deeper investigation, which was obtaining the DNA sample is present.
    KQ: Does the concept of seeing is believing tie into the role of one’s sense perception being over clouded by observed evidence and reinforcements?

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for posting!!

Swift